Floods likely biggest ag disaster ever in Indiana - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Floods likely biggest ag disaster ever in Indiana

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Indianapolis - This month's flooding is likely to cause the worst agricultural disaster in state history.

Indiana Agriculture Director Andy Miller said farmers could lose more than $800 million in crops.

"We have roughly 9 percent of the state's crops that is flooded, both corn and beans," Miller said.

The preliminary damage estimate is an astounding 529,000 acres of corn and 485,000 acres of soy beans.

"Crops are affected, livestock was affected, farmhouses were affected.  Machinery was affected and the land was affected," he said.

Once waters recede, farmers face challenges like re-introducing livestock to affected areas and making sure feed isn't contaminated.

"These AG producers are struggling to sustain a crop and save that crop at a time when prices are going up because they know every bushel is worth a lot of money and they want to save that if they possibly can," said Dr. Chuck Hibberd of Purdue University.

"If feed has been underwater for any period of time, it's obviously going to be rendered useless," said Indiana State Chemist & Seed Commissioner Dr. Bob Waltz.

Farmers are also dealing with other losses, such as damage to their homes and machinery. Some fields have debris or silt in them, while others were eroded by floodwater rushing over them.

Indiana farmers affected by flood damage should seek disaster relief.
"We have an emergency loan program in the primary counties," said Steve Brown of the USDA Farm Service Agency. "And the contiguous counties are now eligible, and under that program, we offer low interest loans."

Business owners, including farmers, can also apply for loans up to $1.5 million. Farmers are eligible to apply for low interest emergency loans as well.

The following organizations will be holding hour-long AG Forums to address things farmers need to know about individual and farm/business relief and recovery programs available to them:
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), The Indiana Board of Animal Health, Indiana Office of the State Chemist, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, Indiana Department of Insurance, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U. S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The AG Forums all begin at 8 a.m. local time to allow attendees to go immediately to FEMA/State assistance centers located nearby for additional resources and assistance. Locations and dates of the Ag Forums are below:

June 23 at 8 a.m. in Jennings County
Jennings County Public Library-Room 1 and 2
2375 North State Highway 3
North Vernon

June 24 at 8 a.m. in Knox County
North Knox High School Cafeteria
11110 North State Road 159

June 25 at 8 a.m. in Morgan County
Morgan County Administration Building-Lucille Sadler Room
180 South Main Street

Get more info on loan information.


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